Orange ya glad I baked a cake?

Here’s the back story:

Never in a million years would I ever have though Gran Marnier in cake would be good. When my husband and I were choosing what flavor we wanted for our wedding cake layers, he picked Gran Marnier. I had a really simple, small wedding and wanted a really simple cake. My husband obviously wanted to go with something that in the end would result in the question, “What would you do with a drunken sailor?”  The layer of cake was marble with Chocolate Gran Marnier frosting. Good would be an understatement.

I’d show you what we do with drunken sailors, but I don’t have permission to use the photo…so, you get this gem (sorry it’s so dark):

Thankfully, the marriage was not Annulled (I had told him I wouldn’t smash cake into his face while he was wearing dress whites). I’m way to much fun anyways…his life would be less exciting without me.

While going through my cupboards I totally forgot I had a bottle of Gran Marnier that I was intending to make souffles with, but had not gotten around to it. I wasn’t really feeling the souffle love this morning so I made:

Chocolate Gran Marnier Cake


  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream


For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan; line bottom with parchment paper round. Stir chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, Grand Marnier, orange peel, and vanilla. Stir in lukewarm chocolate. Add flour and salt; stir to blend. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Transfer batter to prepared springform pan.

Bake cake until top is dry and cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack (top will fall slightly). DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely; cover and let stand at room temperature.

For icing:
Place chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl. Bring cream to boil in small saucepan. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture; stir until mixture is melted and smooth.

Run thin knife around inside of cake pan; remove pan sides. Invert cake onto 10-inch removable tart pan bottom or cardboard round. Place on rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Remove cake pan bottom and parchment. Pour icing over cake and spread to cover top and sides (any icing that drips onto baking sheet can be reused). Chill until glaze sets, about 30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Cut into wedges and serve.

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You know those chocolate oranges? The ones with all of the cool orange slices but it’s wrapped up like a ball. I think they come in chocolate raspberry too (though, those aren’t wrapped like a raspberry…). That is EXACTLY what this cake tastes like.

I didn’t pour the icing over the entire cake. I had it to the side and just drizzled it over each slice (some people might want to drown their cake in chocolate sauce, others might just want the cake). I will definitely be making this cake again. I think this is a really great ‘dinner party’ cake. I promise if you come to my house for such a dinner party, I won’t smash cake in YOUR face, but if given the chance….I will smash cake in my husbands face.

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